Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), whose unmarried status has reportedly been a source of concern for potential Republican donors, publicly introduced his girlfriend, Mindy Noce, after the Republican debate on Wednesday. (Watch the video below.)
NBC showed Scott posing on stage with Noce, a Charleston, South Carolina, interior designer and mother of three who the senator and his campaign later confirmed is his girlfriend. Scott and Noce hold hands briefly in the clip before they part.
The conservative lawmaker had previously withheld Noce’s identity and kept her out of the public eye on the campaign trail.
When asked about Noce in the spin room afterward, Scott said she was “great.” But he didn’t respond to a reporter asking if this represents a “soft launch” of his relationship, the Daily Mail reported. He said they’d been dating for several months.
Scott was fifth among GOP presidential candidates in a recent CBS poll with 4%, well behind former President Donald Trump’s commanding 61%. So the introduction of Noce may be too late in terms of luring more prominent support to his campaign.
But it might quell media curiosity. Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade recently grilled Scott about his romantic life.
“What is your status?” Kilmeade asked Scott, while pressing to meet Scott’s partner.
“At this point I’m taken,” Scott replied. “I have a wonderful girlfriend and we have a wonderful relationship. The good news is, God has blessed me with a smart Christian woman.”
Scott said previously that a candidate’s relationship status shouldn’t matter when determining who’s fit to be president.
Still, for whatever reason, hitched presidents have been the norm for some time now. Axios notes that Americans haven’t elected an unwed president since Grover Cleveland 139 years ago. (Cleveland later married while in the White House.)